Australian Prime Minister John Howard says the apparent killing of international aid worker Margaret Hassan in Iraq is shocking and inhumane.

Mr. Howard also told the parliament Thursday in Canberra that the body of a woman found in Fallujah appears to be that of Ms. Hassan. However, when questioned by reporters afterwards, Mr. Howard would not elaborate on the statement, saying only that Ms. Hassan's killers have not returned her body.

On Sunday, U.S. Marines in Fallujah found the mutilated body of what appeared to be a Western woman. Days earlier, Arabic television network al-Jazeera had said it received a video that appeared to show the killing.

Unidentified kidnappers abducted Ms. Hassan last month and called on Britain to withdraw its troops from Iraq.

Ms. Hassan headed Iraqi operations of the international charity CARE, as an employee of the group's Australian branch.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.